Friday, October 20, 2017

My Status So Far

I know that a lot of you are worried about me. Thank you for that, and I'm sorry that I haven't been posting more regularly. When I saw the doctor on Tuesday, he asked me if I was depressed, and I responded with a dour "Considering the family dog disfigured me, I'd say I'm entitled to some depression while I heal, thanks." He acknowledged that I had a point. 

Instead of trying to reconstruct what's happened on a day-to-day basis since the past update, I'll just hit the important bits:

The swelling continues to diminish. 
My upper lip is mostly back to normal, although I have some numbness there (perhaps due to scar tissue, perhaps due to nerve damage -- I don't know). My lower lip and right cheek are still a scabby mess, but I can actually brush (gently) my teeth on that side, which is a big improvement. 

I can eat non-mush foods now.
I wouldn't say that I've graduated to solids like a big girl, but I no longer have to eat minced foods like tuna salad and applesauce. So long as it'll fit inside my mouth and doesn't require a lot of chewing, I can eat it, so now I've moved up to shredded foods. 

As soon as I'm able, I am eating the biggest steak I can fit into my mouth.

I don't seem to have any muscle damage. 
This was imparted to me with a cheerful "Good news!" tone. While I don't disagree that it's good news, it's hard for me to be cheery when I have no idea how mangled my mouth will be when it heals. I am terribly worried that I will have a speech impediment or otherwise sound strange even after I have healed. 

Some of the stitches have come out.
The ones on the inside of my mouth are made of vicryl and are slowly dissolving. I'm trying not to pull them out, but my tongue keeps worrying at them. 

The ones on my upper lip were removed by the plastic surgeon's assistant yesterday, and I feel like I have greater range of motion and can talk more understandably. I don't know if this is true, coincidental with reduced swelling, or just psychosomatic, but regardless this is a big win for me. 

Other stitches have to wait until the 30th.
That's my next appointment with the plastic surgeon. Maybe then I can get an idea of what needs to be done next. 

I'm told that there WILL be scarring. 
Fucking YAY. I'm a transwoman who was never particularly pretty to begin with, and now I have scars on my cheeks and lips. I'm probably going to require some degree of cosmetic surgery, and hopefully I can afford that with the money you lovely folks have donated. 

I still have survivor's guilt.
Or whatever this is called. Every other time we've had to put down a dog, it was because they were sick or injured. I felt like it was the kindest thing to do,  because I was taking away their pain. But this dog was healthy, and easily had 2 more years left. Putting him down may have been the right thing to do, but it doesn't FEEL like it was right. 

I still wonder what I could have done differently. What subtle signs did I miss? What line did I cross. 

Maybe this is what it's like to be a parent whose child is convicted of a capital crime, where you love them and don't want them to go (heart) but still understand that it's just and responsible to remove them so that they don't hurt others (head). 

This sucks, and I hate it. 

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